US: Over $4 million grant awarded for 62 MW project


The project is the effort of Rockford Solar Partners, LLC, a joint venture between Wanxiang America, the U.S. subsidiary of one of the largest non-state owned companies in China, and Chicago-based renewable energy developer, New Generation Power, to develop and operate an up to 62 MW PV generation facility in Rockford, Illinois.

The facility is expected to generate enough electricity to power over 10,000 homes and reduce carbon dioxide emissions at a rate of 113,000 tons annually. It has also been said that the project will not only create jobs in construction, installation and servicing, but also "countless" additional jobs will be generated in the sale and marketing of green power. Additionally, the project will source PV panels locally, from the Wanxiang solar panel plant.

"The state’s investment will help ensure Illinois remains a leader in renewable energy development, while continuing to build on the state’s energy independence goals," said Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn. "With partnerships with companies like Wanxiang and New Generation Power, we’re creating hundreds of sustainable, green-collar jobs and providing an economic boost to the entire state."

The news was announced by Quinn, who attended Wanxiang America Corporation’s newly built solar panel manufacturing plant opening ceremony in Rockford. Production has already begun on the solar panels in the newly constructed flagship manufacturing facility. Rockford officials have indicated it is designed for expansion on the 10-acre Wanxiang campus.

Earlier in the day, Quinn was in Chicago to sign House Bill 6202 into law, which establishes interim solar targets to help Illinois successfully scale up to reach the state’s solar renewable portfolio standard of six percent by 2015. The new law marks a landmark achievement for solar energy in Illinois. It has been said that it will create over 5,000 solar panel installations, manufacturing, and maintenance jobs, and significantly reduce Illinois’ carbon footprint.

"Solar energy is becoming more and more popular in America, and in the world as well. We believe the market is poised for rapid growth," said Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang America. "We appreciate the State and City governments to support the solar business. Our goal is to expand the plant threefold to meet the demand of Illinois’s new solar energy mandate."